Roy has started going to a men's Bible study on Saturday mornings. He has really enjoyed it. The men meet at Holy Apostles Episcopal Church, which happens to be the same church that CBS meets in. The pastor of the church leads it and Roy thinks that about 16 men attend. Each week one of the men cooks breakfast there at the church and Roy said it is going to be difficult to top this past Saturday. They had french toast with brown sugar covering one side of the bread. These guys aren't the stop at the Shipley's and pick up some donuts kind of guys. They are studying Romans. Afterwards Roy met me at Otto's and drank hot tea while I had breakfast. This morning our pastor preached out of John 21. John 21 has a special place in my heart and the passage became so special as I transitioned from tennis into eventually working at the church. Dena and I laugh about different passages in the Bible that on their own, are somewhat humorous. So like this morning we read verse 12 and it says, "Now come and have some breakfast." That's a great verse especially for those of us who like to go out and eat breakfast. We picked up some home grown tomatoes and kettle corn in old Katy Saturday morning at the Katy Market Days after breakfast.
This morning was church and afterwards lunch at the Nord with Emily and David. We had a blast and the new look of the Bistro is interesting. Not too many changes, well except for the bar.
I had a friend ask me if I could help her help a friend. The friend has a similar situation with a loved one like we have been experiencing of late. So I've taken the time to think things through and not just the happenings of recent months but thinking about this 'elephant in the room' deal I have always had with my father. My thoughts turn that direction because the friend of my friend is much younger and finds herself on the path that I have been on for a much longer time. Really, how can you deal with an unreasonable, difficult and untrusting person? For most of my life I fought tooth and nail with him. It is what we did best, argue and point/counter-point each other. My father told me several months ago he could never get my mother to argue with him. He said, he wanted to argue but she wouldn't partake. Guess he found that willing arguer in me in yars past. I don't know if my father has ever trusted any of us, mom, my brother or me. Many have volunteered the information that maybe my father has the beginning of dementia and that's where the anger and accusations come from but no I think this has been going on in him for much longer than I have been alive. It saddens me to hear that he still believes we have stolen money and have taken possession of his stocks. I'm not sad about how it makes me feel, I am sad that his life has so deteriorated to this point and that his end days are now filled with anger, loneliness, angst and hour upon hour of connecting unrelated facts and circumstances to fit his skewed view of real or imagined slights. His attention and target before me was directed at his church and at life long friends. His friend who talked with me before I left on my trip sadly reported to me that my father's heart was very hardened against me to the point of hated. No surprise there. So, how do I help this much younger woman facing her own situation with a loved one?
The Message (MSG)
23-27 Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that's where life starts.Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust.
Guard your heart! It determines the course of your life. Don't get sucked into careless banter, avoid lies, white lies, and gossip. Guard your heart with the Word of God. Don't be tempted to give into what would look to be rightfully vindictiveness or payback, even if it can be justified. Mark out that straight path, don't get sidetracked or be tempted to join in the sideshow distractions. Don't argue. My mother had it right, words and hurt cannot escalate into more than it should be if you don't argue. Don't be damaged by their hurtful words or have your unkind and mean words said in anger to be used against you for the rest of your life. Guard your heart with God's peace. Speak His truth into your life. Bring your weariness with the whole thing to the Lord, He will give you His rest.
Sometimes I still find myself wanting to talk about "it all" with friends and I can tell my questions and thoughts and ponderings are wearying and weighs down conversations. Keep talking to the Lord about everything. Keep the "it all" talk to a minimum with friends.
Watch your step and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Keep a journal. Keep a prayer journal. I've been looking up and writing in my journal all the verses that have to do with paths, roads and ways. Keep praying...leave evil in the dust!